- NATO Kosovo Force
- Operation Enduring Freedom
- Operation Freedom’s Sentinel
- Operation Inherent Resolve
- Operation Iraqi Freedom
- Operation New Dawn
- Operation Octave Shield
- Operation Odyssey Lightning
- Operation Spartan Shield
- U.S. Africa Command Operations
- U.S. Central Command operations
- The People Behind The Sacrifice
Army Sgt. 1st Class Stephen J. White
Died January 5, 2006 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom
39, of Talladega, Ala.; assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 16th Field Artillery, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Hood, Texas; killed Jan. 5 when an improvised explosive device detonated near his Humvee during convoy operations in Najaf, Iraq. Also killed were: Maj. William F. Hecker III, Capt. Christopher P. Petty, Sgt. Johnny J. Peralez Jr. and Pvt. Robbie M. Mariano.
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Father of seven killed in Iraq
TALLADEGA, Ala. — Army Sgt. 1st Class Stephen J. White, a father of seven children, was killed in the Iraq war while on his fifth tour of duty after 20 years of military service, family members said.
White, 39, of Talladega, and four other soldiers were killed Thursday by an improvised explosive device that detonated near his military vehicle in Najaf, the Department of Defense said.
White was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 16th Field Artillery, 2nd Brigade Combat Team of the 4th Infantry Division, based in Fort Hood, Texas.
His wife, Vicky White, is also on active Army duty and accompanied his body home Friday night with a stop in her native North Carolina, White’s brother said.
“We want folks to know, our brother was a soldier for the Army, but he was also a soldier for the Lord,” White’s brother Stanley White said Saturday. “He was a good man.”
He said White left the United States right after Thanksgiving.
“He said he was going to be somewhere near the Syrian border, but right now we still don’t have a lot of details about what happened,” the brother said.
Funeral arrangements were incomplete Sunday.
Army’s “stop-loss” policy may have kept slain vet from retiring
TALLADEGA, Ala. — A 20-year Army veteran who was killed last week in Iraq may have been denied retirement — despite having seven children and his wife on duty in Iraq — because of a restrictive wartime policy known as “stop-loss,” an Army official said Monday.
Army Sgt. 1st Class Stephen J. White was one of five soldiers killed Thursday in Najaf by an improvised explosive device that detonated near his military vehicle.
Stanley White said his brother tried to retire last year, but the Army denied his request.
“He’d been in the Army for 20 years, he put in for his retirement last year, and it was denied. Why? This was his fifth tour,” White told The Daily Home of Talladega.
White was assigned to a unit based in Fort Hood, Texas.
Fort Hood spokesman Sgt. Damian Steptore said Monday he couldn’t give specifics about Stephen White’s retirement request. However, he said White may have been denied retirement because of the stop-loss practice that has kept tens of thousands of soldiers from leaving the service at the end of their enlistment tours or retirement dates.
Under the current practice, soldiers in units that are under orders to prepare to deploy to either Iraq or Afghanistan are prohibited from leaving the service during the 90 days before their deployment and for up to 90 days after they return — even if their enlistment period ends during that time or they had planned to retire.
Steptore said the 4th Infantry Division, which includes White’s battalion, has been under stop-loss policy since June 1, 2004. White’s unit deployed to Iraq in December.
Family members were not immediately available for comment Monday on whether the policy was cited when his retirement request was denied last year.
White’s wife, Vicky, was accompanying his body home from Iraq, with a stop in her native North Carolina, Stanley White said. The soldier’s seven children include two with Vicky White.
Details on funeral arrangements were not available Monday.
White was assigned to the Third Battalion, 16th Field Artillery, Second Brigade Combat Team of the Fourth Infantry Division based in Fort Hood.
The other soldiers killed in the Jan. 5 explosion were Maj. William F. Hecker, III, 37, of St. Louis, Mo.; Capt. Christopher P. Petty, 33, of Vienna, Va.; Sgt. Johnny J. Peralez, Jr., 25, of Kingsville, Texas; and Pvt. Robbie M. Mariano, 21, of Stockton, Calif.
— Associated Press